Wednesday 15th January 2014
This seems an unlikely location for a small brewery as it is a modern bar. Modern is possibly a misnomer as the decor is a deliberate attempt to recreate the look of a 1970s bar. Well, I don't remember any that looked like this place although there is a certain resemblance to bars depicted in films of that time. You can imagine James Bond popping in for a martini. Have a look at the photographs to see what I mean.
A brewery was first established on this site during 1995. It was part of the Back & Bräu chain that paired the arts of the baker with the brewer. At its height there were seven branches throughout the country. They are now all closed; this particular outlet shut its doors for the last time in May 2007.
In September of the same year it reopened as just plain Steinfels with the look I described above. It is owned by a company named Kramer, which operates a number of restaurants around the city.
I entered the bar down some steps at it is located in the basement of an office building. I noticed the copper fermentation vessels of the brewery on my right, followed by a long bar.
I settled at the bar, ordered a beer, and then took a look at the rest of the premises. I continued beyond the bar and entered another large room. This place is deceptively large.
There were three beers offered: Lager (5.2%), Pils (5.2%) and Weizen (Wheat) (5.2%). I started with the Lager and enjoyed it very much. It was well balanced and had medium bitterness.
I then switched to the Pils, a style I am fond of. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Lager. There was nothing specifically wrong with it but it was just not bitter enough when it should have had a dry hop flavour and aftertaste. I passed on the Weizen and went back to the Lager.
I had a loose arrangement to meet fellow traveller Steve in this bar so I was here for longer than I normally am when visiting brew pubs. We eventually met up the following night but I enjoyed myself in Steinfels as the Lagerbier was very good. After a while, I even got used to the decor!
The brewery produces 60 hl of beer a week and there is a take-away service. There is also a full menu which specialises in exactly what you would think it would; Pasta, Burgers and Spare Ribs. This is an interesting bar and restaurant that I will revisit when I am next in the city.
Steinfels, Heinrichstrasse 267, Zürich. CH-8005. Tel: 041 (0) 44 217 1030
Open: Monday-Thursday 11.00-24.00; Friday 11.00-01.00;
Saturday 14.00-01.00; Sunday 13.00-23.00
The nearest tram stop, less than five minutes away, is Schiffbau which is served by the number 4. On the over bridge above, reached by lift, there is a bus stop that is served by the number 33 Trolleybus that goes nearly all the way around the city. It is also served by bus routes 71 and 72.
Just under ten minutes away is Hardbrücke station that is served by S-Bahn lines S3. S5, S6, S7, S9 and S12. About the same distance from the pub is the Escher-Wyss-Platz tram stop which is served by the 13 and 17 trams in addition to the 4.